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Insights by Andy: Celebrating of the Value of Diversity in the Workplace

SHL joins Purple Tuesday to demonstrate how including people with disabilities can create a top-performing workforce.

This year, we joined a global movement of organizations that recognize neurodiversity and disability as a vital and often missing part of corporate inclusion.

This is part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and amid growing interest in the corporate community to serve individuals with disabilities as illustrated by the Valuable 500. We are working towards providing a better and more inclusive assessment experience for neurodiverse individuals; this work includes everything from recruiting to developing talent.

SHL began its disability and inclusion journey with Purple in late 2019. Since that time, Purple helped us deliver workshops and provide support across the business to train our staff to better understand the challenges that people with disabilities face in the workforce. This helps every team at SHL make disability inclusion a point of focus as we develop and enhance our products and solutions.

We are proud to be part of the Purple Tuesday event to help showcase the work done so far and to better understand the journey which lays ahead.

Our research has shown that neurodiverse and disabled individuals show unique patterns of cognitive strength and behavioral preferences, which make them ideal and top-performing employees in the right jobs.  Many of our clients are increasingly recognizing this as well.

In addition, studies show that diverse organizations financially outperform their competitors, and they grow and innovate faster. Diversity and inclusion have become an important goal for businesses around the world, but many leaders do not know how to grow diversity or inclusion in their workplaces.

As part of our commitment to improving diversity in the workplace, we provide organizations with tools and information to help them recruit, fairly select, and retain talented people with disabilities. In this case, everyone wins as individuals who are disabled are placed in jobs that are meaningful and fulfilling, and companies benefit from the unique skill sets those individuals possess.

In 2019, we began a global Neurodiversity Research Program, sponsored by our Chief Innovation and Science Officer Ken Lahti, and jointly led by US and UK members of the Research and Development team. The program has a number of aims. One is to look into the experience and performance of neurodiverse candidates and participants when taking part in pre-hire or development assessments. These findings can then be used to inform best practices for assessing neurodiverse candidates as well as being used in product development and improvement.

As part of the program, we are collaborating with clients who either actively recruit from neurodiverse populations, or who believe they may already have a high proportion of neurodiverse candidates or employees. We are already seeing that this work may be particularly relevant to clients with a high number of STEM roles, such as those in the defense industry. Additionally, we are partnering with academic researchers who are emerging thought leaders in this new and compelling area of research.

SHL, with the guidance of Purple, will continue working towards becoming a Disability Confident employer through the UK government’s Disability Confident employer scheme

We have also made two key commitments as part of our sign up to the Valuable 500 scheme:

Commitment 1:
Conduct a formal accessibility audit of SHL assessments. We have already started this and will continue to do so, using the feedback received from these audits to improve the accessibility of our products.

Commitment 2:
Formalize an accessibility review process as part of the SHL product development process.
This commitment is to ensure that we address accessibility concerns upfront in the design process of our products and solutions. We have worked hard during 2020 to train relevant staff and formalize the embedding of this accessibility review in the product development process.

You can follow SHL’s commitment to disability and diversity on our  Blog.

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Andy Bradshaw

Andy has spent over 25 years in technology and services businesses, over half of which has been in Human Capital Management (HCM). His career started performing a variety of roles for Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, including running industry teams and building new customer segments. More recently taking senior leadership positions in mid-market organizations undergoing transformation. These included IT security, assessment and employee benefits segments. He returned as CEO of SHL 2 years ago, working with CEB and Gartner to establish SHL as an independent business. Andy is passionate about using people insight to improve business and individual performance.

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